U.S. Water News Online
SAN ANTONIO -- The underground reservoir that is this
city's main source of drinking water has dipped below the trigger
level for usage restrictions, amid the region's long-running drought.
The Edwards Aquifer, which also feeds Texas' largest springs and
supports a number of threatened and endangered species, covers an
11-county area. It serves as an indicator of regional water demand.
The aquifer reading recently was 649.7 feet above sea level,
three-tenths of a foot under the 650-foot level that requires water
restrictions on local users.
San Antonio City Manager Terry Brechtel has declared Stage I
``We didn't think that this year there were going to be
restrictions because we would get our water in May and June,'' said
Calvin Finch, San Antonio Water System conservation director.
Already, the South-Central Texas area is classified as being in a
moderate drought. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center's long-term
outlook for July and August calls for the weather to be hotter and
drier than usual.
May and June, usually San Antonio's wettest months, have been dry.
Rainfall so far this year has been barely half the normal amount.
Even though this week's forecast holds a chance of rain, there's
little hope that July will provide the heavy precipitation the
``Any rain we get over the next couple of months, or the next
month, would only be enough probably to help people keep their yards
alive,'' said Joe Baskin of the National Weather Service in New
Stage I restrictions, in addition to limiting lawn watering to
once a week after 8 p.m. and before 10 a.m. on designated weekdays,
also would not allow sprinkling on weekends. Swimming pools also must
be covered at least 25 percent when not in use.
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